We caught up with Bollington-based Mark Lomas, founder of Treks to the Wrecks
Hi Mark, tell us a little bit about you and your business…
I grew up in Bollington and went to Dean Valley and Tytherington High School.
After leaving school, I worked at Kay Metzeler’s and then at Slater Harrison’s in Bollington but my main passion was to join the army which I achieved at the age of 18.
Tell us about your military background…
I served in the Cheshire Regiment as an infantry soldier completing 5 tours of Northern Ireland and also Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The latter two tours, I was a Sniper Commander.
What led you to setting up Treks to the Wrecks? Where did your fascination for the topic begin?
After serving in the army for 23.5 years I decided that I had done my time so concentrated on following up a new career.
I qualified as a mountain leader in 2007 and enjoy leading groups up in the mountains of the UK.
How did the idea for making it into a business come about?
On a walk out in the local area, I came across an aircraft wreck and decided to look up the history of it and was amazed at what I found.
From that point on, I wanted to find more of these aircraft wrecks which span the UK.
Once I had researched and found the majority of the wrecks I thought it would be a fantastic idea to be able to show others what I had found and ultimately these people could then pay their respects to the fallen pilots and crew and that’s how the business was formed!
It sounds really exciting! Is it safe?
Being in the mountains and hills of the UK does have its risks, however, being a qualified mountain leader with full liability insurance, mountain and wilderness first aid trained and DBS checked, I make this as safe as possible.
I have vast experience in this field and this knowledge comes mainly from being ex-forces.
I have lots of experience which includes leading the Snowdon legs for the national Three Peaks challenge and other mountains around the UK.
Whereabouts do you take people on the tours?
I predominantly take clients around the Peak District area, however at some point in the future I will be branching out to include aircraft wrecks around other parts of the UK.
Which is your favourite site/trek to visit?
To be honest I don’t really have a favourite site or trek as all the crash sites mean the same to me.
If a single pilot died on their own it becomes quite emotional but that’s not to say it doesn’t get emotional when there are several crew involved.
The best way to feel this raw emotion is to come on a trek and trust me, you might be stood there with a tear in your eye after I have told you the story of how the aircraft came to grief.
So, do you need to be fit to take part?
As long as you are medically fit you can attend any of our treks.
Both of our taster treks are a good starting point and offer a great opportunity for you to decide if this is for you! All our treks are about enjoyment and paying our respects so don’t worry, it’s a nice steady pace.
What are the other benefits of attending a trek?
Being in nature and seeing some amazing views can boost your mood and improve mental health. Walking offers a wealth of health benefits that are not just physical.
It improves your self esteem, mental agility and self awareness. It’s a great stress-buster and a full body workout, so it’s good for general wellbeing.
Do you offer corporate events?
Absolutely, yes! We offer competitively priced corporate packages for businesses looking for something different for their corporate events.
Here’s what one of the companies had to say about their recent corporate trek:
“A fantastic day for all and it was a very informative throughout. I would highly recommend one of these events to other businesses or individuals and I will definitely look to book another one in the future as it was great to reconnect with some of my team in such beautiful surroundings.
“Mark is a very interesting and knowledgeable guide, not only about the aircraft wreck sites but the area in general.
“Not only was this a great team building exercise, it made you really think about putting any day to day pressures in perspective and we would highly recommend this experience to anyone!”
What else do people need to know?
We have a great website (trekstothewrecks.co.uk) which has lots of information and a FAQs page.
This is a fantastic little business and we take great pride in knowing that we provide amazing customer service.
From the moment you make an enquiry or book with us, we will provide you with all the information you need as we are committed to ensuring that your experience with us is second to none!
We work hard to make sure that all our treks are amazing and that our clients are happy.
See for yourself what past clients have to say.